Friday, November 26, 2021

Thanksgiving / The REview / The Beatles - Let it be / PERE America Forum / Pizza-Drink Thing / Dans le Noir? / Sharon Ellison Felix

Those of us in the United States celebrated our Thanksgiving Day yesterday. I received a number of good wishes from friends around the world as well as in the U.S. It feels like we have come together, again, fighting a common enemy (COVID). I know we all hope that we are past the worst and that things will not do downhill again over the coming winter. Perhaps this past 18 months has given us time to step back and appreciate and be mindful of the really important things in life: our health and our families and to be grateful for all the little things that bring us peace and happiness. I went into my office for the first time last week and it felt very good…I have always loved getting up early and going into the office, or going to an airport, and it felt almost normal. My most sincere best wishes to you and your families for a happy, healthy and peaceful rest of 2021. 


The REview
Talking with RentTV founder Steve Bloom the other day he told me about The REview which is a free video sharing website for the commercial real estate industry now online with over 1,100 videos already in the platform! Steve’s goal with the new website is to increase viewers to all types of real estate videos (about Properties, Architecture, Development, Financing, Technology, Construction, Events, Charities, ESG. etc.) by making it easy for viewers to find relevant videos. Poke around on it when you get a chance.


The Beatles - Get Back
Just released yesterday on Disney+. It's an amazing documentary covering the making of the Beatles' 1970 album 'Let it Be.'  I watched the first episode last night.  It's incredible.  

Photo: Foote Park, Morristown, NJ - Let it Be rock.  Sent to me by a friend.

PERE America Forum (Nov 30 – Dec 1), NYC PERE (Private Equity Real Estate) has invited me to moderate a panel at their America Forum next week. The topic: How Investors Are Diversifying Their Portfolios. My panelists: Mike Acton, AEW; Alan Snoddy, Church Pension Group; Simon Lauzier, Ivanhoe Cambridge.

I truly feel back in the swing having attended the PREA and NCREIF conferences and now a PERE event! Learn more about the event here


Steve’s Almost Annual Pizza/Drink Thing
When: Monday, December 13
Where: Joe G’s Restaurant, 244 W. 56th St (bet. B’way and 8th Ave. and downstairs from the DaVinci Hotel)
Time: 6ish to 9ish pm
What: A holiday get together of commercial real estate folks. I don’t ask for RSVPs so don’t know who or how many people will be show up…but I can tell you (as would others who have attended) that big or small it’s always an interesting group – business relationships have been launched there and it’s generally been a very eclectic mix of professionals from all facets of our great industry.
The Deal: You buy your own drinks and I provide the fabulous Joe G pizza (with various toppings of course!) This will be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new ones and share what’s going on in the industry.

Note: NYC COVID guidelines require proof of vaccinations and your ID to attend. I hope you can join me.


You never know…Dans le Noir?
On Wednesday I took a 5am flight from Newark to Charlotte, North Carolina (NC) – where I took a connection to Greenville Spartanburg, South Carolina where I rented a car and drove to Asheville, North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with my son and his family. On the 5am flight, after all the announcements (including one by a very thoughtful pilot who said he was going to keep his announcements to a minimum because he figured a lot of folks were going to be sleeping) and that they would be turning the lights off in the cabin. As sometime happens (maybe you’ve experienced this) the flight landed and is taxiing to the gate and you talk with someone sitting next to you – even though you hadn’t said a word to each other during the flight. As I mentioned The plane had been virtually completely dark, like totally dark, during the flight. I mentioned to the woman next to me that it was an experience, me unwrapping a sandwich and eating it – in the dark (only dropped one little piece of turkey!). She opened my eyes to a restaurant chain called Dans Le Noir. It’s very cool…take a look.

From Wikipedia: Dans Le Noir? (French for "in the dark") is a chain of restaurants where guests are served in total darkness, a concept called dark dining or blind dining. Dans Le Noir was founded in 2004 in Paris by Edouard de Broglie, a French entrepreneur. Subsequent locations were opened in London, Barcelona, New York, St. Petersburg, New Zealand, Melbourne Australia, and Nairobi. The London location is featured in a key scene in the 2013 movie About Time. The New York location closed in 2012. "Dans Le Noir ?" claims that through limiting the sense of sight, other senses are intensified, including relations between people. Diners at "Dans Le Noir ?" have little knowledge of the entrĂ©es, appetizers, desserts, and wine choice of their meal, which is primarily inspired by French cuisine. Diners are served by either blind or visually impaired waitstaff. A percentage of the profits support charities in different countries. Has anybody been to one? When you click this link you may need to hit the ‘English’ button to translate from French to English.


Sharon Felix
Tomorrow would have been the birthday of Sharon Ellison Felix, my first wife and mother of my two sons’. Unfortunately, Sharon was taken by a terrible cancer (is there any other kind?) 7 years ago. And, while she and I didn’t have much of a relationship after we got divorced many years ago, we always had one thing in common: support and love for our sons. Sharon was a great mom and a talented artist and, yes, I was ‘on the road’ a lot way back then as well. On this Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to pay tribute to her and express my gratitude – I have a feeling she’s able to see or feel this, wherever she is now.

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